Easy Calamari Steak Recipes That Anyone Can Make

Calamari Steak Recipes

Calamari steaks are one of my favorite foods, as I love seafood. Something about their sweet, tender texture and mild flavor makes calamari steaks incredibly addicting.

However, calamari often gets a bad rap for being rubbery and stiff to cook correctly. That reputation isn’t actual, though – calamari steaks are pretty easy to make at home as long as you follow a few simple tricks. The key is not to overcook them.

In this article, I’ll share my top calamari steak recipe tips for cooking tender, delicious calamari steaks and 3 of my favorite easy recipes. Keep reading to become a calamari pro!

Tips for Cooking Tender Calamari Steaks

Here are my go-to tricks for ensuring your calamari steak recipe turns out meltingly tender:

1. Look for Sustainably-Sourced Calamari

I always try to buy calamari that has been sustainably caught or farmed. Responsibly sourced calamari tends to be more fresh and tender. Ask questions at your local fish market or look for calamari steaks labeled as “sustainably caught. “

2. Go for Thicker Steaks

Opt for calamari steaks that are at least 3/4-inch thick. Thinner steaks can overcook and toughen quickly, and the extra thickness gives you more wiggle room.

3. Don’t Overcook Them

This is the golden rule for tender calamari! They should only cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Calamari gets rubbery when overcooked. Invest in a good instant-read thermometer and take it off the heat when it reaches 140°F.

4. Use Dry Heat Cooking Methods

Moist-heat cooking, like boiling or steaming, can make calamari challenging and soggy. Dry heat methods like grilling, pan-searing, or roasting are best. They lock in moisture and flavor.

5. Tenderize with Acid

Soaking calamari steaks briefly in acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or buttermilk can help tenderize them. The acids break down tough fibers.

Easy Calamari Steak Recipes to Try Tonight

Now let’s get to the good stuff – here are 3 of my go-to easy recipes for calamari steak dinners:

1. Lemon Pepper Calamari Steaks

Lemon Pepper Calamari Steaks

This recipe combines the bright flavors of lemon and pepper for a zingy calamari dish. The acid in the lemon juice tenderizes the calamari to perfection.


  • 1 lb calamari steaks
  • One lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Pour the lemon juice into a shallow dish. Add the calamari steaks and let soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain calamari and sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt.
  3. Cook 1-2 mins per side until opaque. Serve with lemon wedges.

The bright, fresh flavor combo is so addicting! I like to serve this calamari with a crisp side salad or rice pilaf.

2. Crispy Parmesan Calamari Steaks

This recipe uses parmesan cheese to give the calamari steaks an ultra-crispy, savory coating. Paired with a marinara dipping sauce, it’s a restaurant-quality meal.


  • 1 lb calamari steaks
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • One egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Marinara sauce for dipping


  1. In one shallow dish, combine panko and parmesan. In another, beat egg with 1 Tbsp oil and Italian seasoning.
  2. Dip calamari in egg, then panko mixture to coat.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes per side until crispy.
  4. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

The crispy panko-parmesan coating takes this calamari over the top! I like to serve it alongside spaghetti for a surf and turf meal.

3. Grilled Calamari Steak Salad

For a lighter calamari dinner, try this easy grilled calamari salad recipe. It’s packed with fresh veggies and healthy greens.


  • 1 lb calamari steaks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • One clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • One cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • One avocado, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, mix 1 Tbsp oil, garlic, and oregano. Add calamari and marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Grill calamari over med-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice it into strips.
  3. Combine salad greens, cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado in a salad bowl.
  4. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss to coat.
  5. Top salad with grilled calamari and season with salt and pepper.

The combination of smoky grilled calamari, crisp greens, and fresh vegetables is so tasty and healthy! It makes for a satisfying, lighter calamari dinner.

Get Excited for Tender, Delicious Calamari Dinners

Get Excited for Tender, Delicious Calamari Dinners

You have everything you need to start cooking a mouthwatering calamari steak recipe tonight! With the proper techniques and recipes, calamari steaks go from intimidating to easy and delicious.

The key is starting with quality calamari, not overcooking it, and using dry heat cooking methods. My favorite recipes, like Lemon Pepper Calamari or Crispy Parmesan Calamari, take just minutes to prepare.

So get ready to impress your family with your new calamari cooking skills. Trust me, once you master cooking tender, flavorful calamari steaks, you’ll want them on repeat! Dig into this seafood delight.


How do you know when calamari is done?

Use an instant-read thermometer to check doneness. Calamari is perfectly cooked at 140°F. It will turn opaque white and feel firm yet tender.

Can you grill calamari steaks?

Yes, grilling is a tremendous dry-heat cooking method for calamari. Grill over medium-high heat for just 1-2 minutes per side.

What is the best way to bread calamari steaks?

For a crispy breading, coat the calamari in a beaten egg, then press into a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan before pan-frying.

What should you not cook calamari with?

Avoid cooking calamari with acidic ingredients like tomatoes or wine, as they can toughen the texture.

Do you have to soak calamari in milk?

Soaking calamari briefly in milk or buttermilk can help tenderize it, but it isn’t required. Lemon juice or vinegar works, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *